KARACHI: In response to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement announcement on Monday evening about quitting the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government in the centre and the province, the PPP has reiterated that the party is committed to the policy of reconciliation.
“The MQM reservations on the issue of Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections will be removed soon,” said Sindh Chief Minister and the PPP’s provincial chief Syed Qaim Ali Shah while speaking to the media at the handing over ceremony of modern ambulances to the people’s primary health initiative.
PPP Secretary-General Jahangir Badar, who was accompanied by PPP leaders Taj Haider, Najmi Alam and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon at the PPP Media Cell in Clifton, later told a press conference that their leadership would hold talks with the MQM and would bring them back “as no solo flight could deliver to the people”, and the country could be taken forward only through democracy.
“There is no last word in politics and at times people part ways but rejoin in the larger national interest,” he said.
Replying to queries of journalists, Mr Badar said: “They [MQM] are quite angry at present and have reportedly taken certain big decisions.” But, he added, the PPP was not angry and it didn’t want to reciprocate in the same manner as it was pursuing politics of reconciliation and wanted to take all political parties along.
When his attention was drawn towards the filing of resignation by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, who belongs to the MQM, the PPP leader said the resignation would be put before President Asif Ali Zardari for a decision when he would return to the country after a foreign visit.
The leader avoided answering certain questions saying that he was not in a position to speak on the issue at length because the MQM decision, which was their right, was made public only a short time before. Being secretary-general, he was under party discipline and could not go beyond parameters of party policy. “Till today the PPP policy direction was to take all political parties along and that was why we had join hands with the PML-Q,” he said.
Mr Badar was of the view that his party’s high command would sit together in the wake of the MQM move and whatever was decided would be followed by all.
About the recent remarks of MQM chief Altaf Hussain that it was “the beginning of the destruction” of the government, Mr Badar said many people, including General Zia-ul-Haq, had dreamt bad about the PPP but all of them passed away without their dreams having come true.
“The great sacrifices of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and their long struggle have proved that in the end it would be the victory of democracy and the people,” he said.
Asked if the PPP was pursuing its reconciliation policy, why it failed to take the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz along, he said Mian Nawaz Sharif considered himself as an “alternate government” as such it was not possible for the PML-N to go along the ruling party.
However, he said, it did not behoove on part of Mr Sharif to use derogatory language against President Zardari for point scoring. When Mr Sharif ought to oppose military rulers, he had been sharing power with them and now when the army was behind the democratic government, he was opposing the military leadership, Mr Badar said.
Earlier at the start of the press conference, he expressed gratitude to the people of the AJK for reposing confidence in the PPP by voting for its candidate in the AJK assembly elections.